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Old 09-17-2007, 06:12 AM   #24
March 8th, 1971
East Side Guru
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Default Re: Sonny Liston vs. Larry Holmes

Originally Posted by Duodenum
As Joiner correctly pointed out, he boxed Holmes before Larry really cultivated his jab. It was not yet the weapon he decked Ocasio with.
It was certainly faster than Liston's, and Ali demonstrated what happened when Liston faced a faster long jab than his own. Larry was a pure boxer, and Liston was a physically durable customer, so Holmes would take the 15 round UD here. It comes down to hitting and not getting hit, and with Larry's speed and mobility, those advantages are all his.

That Holmes had the bigger heart is something few dispute. He is also far more intelligent than most HW champions, and wouldn't have indulged in the foolish mistakes Henry Clark did in 1968. (I realize that wasn't the Sonny of old, but Clark did leave himself available to be hit, yet was on his feet at the end.) If Liston had been facing a peak Holmes instead of Machen, Larry would have won that decision comfortably.
Good points.

Liston's jab is heavier than Holmes, much heavier.

But you have to realise that that is a very small factor in the battle of jabs.
What is are more important factors?
Speed, by far. Reach, technique and consistency also come into play. Liston had a 84' inch wingspan but that was mostly due to wide shoulders. Williams, at 6'3 79" looked to have a longer reach, which incidentally is about the same in measurements as Holmes'. Holmes is more consistent with the jab and he is much faster with it.

Ali completly neutralised Liston's powerful jab with speed. While Holmes is a tad slower, he still outspeeds Liston by a significant margin. I think that will play an important role during the entire fight. I think Larry will fight safe and box to a comfortable decision. How will Liston deal with the jabs and right hands? He looked awefully swollen and cut after a mere 6 rounds with a light hitting and running Ali. Holmes did not have that weakness nor did he ever quit as blatantly as Liston.
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